Judge orders fresh trial in alleged Christmas hampers fraud case involving ex-Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce. Picture by PA.
Sam Allardyce. Picture by PA.

A man accused of luring West Ham players and staff into buying luxury hampers for Christmas before scamming them out of thousands of pounds will face a retrial after the jury in his case was discharged.

Ex-Sunderland manager and then West Ham boss Sam Allardyce and England striker Andy Carroll were among 13 people who allegedly paid a total of £7,310 to Stephen Ackerman in December 2014, with the promise of goods which were not delivered.

Ackerman, of Loughton, Essex, denies 18 fraud charges, with the proceeds amounting to a total of about £61,560. During the trial the judge ordered that he be acquitted of one count of fraud following a "mistake" in evidence.

It is alleged Ackerman posed as a salesman called Mark Kingston, conning the players and staff out money after visiting them at their training ground.

He went on trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London on July 18 but it was brought to an abrupt halt on Monday when three of the 12 jurors were absent, court staff said.

After discussion between the judge and counsel, the jury was discharged and a re-trial was ordered.

A pre-trial review will now take place on October 19 before a new trial begins at the same court on October 24.